In November we are celebrating our20th anniversary. That is why we will be highlighting various parts of the green business in the near future. This time the focus is on the development of new machines.
Author: Nino Stuivenberg (NWST)
VGR Equipment is one of the three divisions within the VGR Group: its own machines are developed and marketed within this branch. Paul Verhoef, who has been working at VGR since 2015, is one of the engineers at VGR. 'At the start, Arwin Verschoor said: we are going to build machines and they have to be radically innovative and different. It is a strategy that makes us unique. The basic principle is that the machines are so well thought out that anyone can operate them.'
Years of testing
When developing a new machine, VGR does not act overnight. Verhoef: 'There is a lot involved: we are taking many steps and encountering many uncertainties. It starts with an idea, we see a gap in the market because a certain machine is not there yet. Then we start with a concept and to shape the machine, from which certain designs come out. We ultimately assemble the machine on the basis of all kinds of requirements. We make a prototype of this that we test for at least a year. We put in a lot of hours to gain experience. Ultimately, a sales model rolls out there that is put on the market.'
'We have been exporting to America for a year, which has made a big difference'
The TopChanger is the most famous machine developed by VGR. The development of this started 7 years ago and the machine underwent many changes during that time. The machine is also doing well internationally, says Verhoef. 'We have been exporting to America for a year, which has had a big impact. Two thirds of the deliveries are now outside Europe.' VGR is still focusing on the further development of the machine and wants to launch a new model on its 20th anniversary in November, a kind of TopChanger 2.0. Verhoef: 'It contains the latest points for improvement that we have seen in recent years. The machine will be functionally better and also more user-friendly.' After that launch, there will be more room for developing other models.
See first, then believe
If you are interested in seeing the TopChanger in action, it is best to request a demonstration, according to Verhoef. 'For customers who really want to make a big step forward in the condition of their golf course or sports field, the TopChanger is the solution. We often hear: first see, then believe. That is why we are happy to give demonstrations, so that interested parties can see with their own eyes what is possible on his or her own golf course or sports field.'
Head green keeper of golf course Wouwse Plantage in Bergen op Zoom.
‘Golf course Wouwse Plantage was considering to renovate the greens. However, VGR advised us to restore and maintain the soil with the TopChanger. This machine enables us to bring back our greens on top level. We keep our greens in good condition with only a minimal disturbance for our golfers.’